Policy details are as foreign to Mr. McDaniel as they are natural to Mr. Cochran. Henry Barbour’s super PAC is filling the airwaves with comments Mr. McDaniel made to Politico that questioned whether he would have voted for the emergency relief that Mr. Cochran helped secure for the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Mr. McDaniel now says he supports disaster relief and does not see the need to offset it with other spending cuts. And he has opted not to challenge Mr. Cochran’s military largess.
“Relatively speaking, the military budget compared to the rest of our budget is small, is it not?” he asked a reporter. (It is about 20 percent of federal spending.)
Such details might not matter much come June. Both sides say the coming ad war will be unlike any the state has seen. Already, Cochran supporters have been taken aback by what they see as the McDaniel camp’s lack of respect.
“I’m complimented by his close attention to my appearance,” Mr. Cochran joked.